Academic Catalog 2020-2021

Master of Divinity Admissions

Admission Policies

Requirements for Full Admission

  1. A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Applicants are expected to have had broad baccalaureate preparation including studies in world history, philosophy, languages and literature, the natural sciences, the social sciences, the fine arts, and religion. In cases where the applicant’s undergraduate preparation is deemed deficient, additional baccalaureate work may be required for full admission.
  2. A grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale in baccalaureate work.
  3. A stated and demonstrated commitment to ministry.
  4. A Background Record Check. Prior to admission, a satisfactory “Criminal Record Check” for all states of residence for the past five (5) years must be submitted to the School of Divinity Office of Admissions with a residence verification statement. Criminal background histories obtained for employment purposes are not acceptable for admission to the School of Divinity. Information received pertaining to criminal background histories will become part of the student’s permanent academic file. Any conviction or pending criminal charges cited in the criminal history will be reviewed by the School of Divinity Faculty Admissions Committee. Any allegations or charges of misdemeanor(s) or felony(s) that occur after the Criminal Record Check has been submitted must be reported immediately to the School of Divinity Office of Admissions and the Dean of the School of Divinity. Failure to report allegations of such charges may result in immediate dismissal from the program.

Criteria for Admission

Applicants for admission are evaluated on:

academic attainment;

writing skills;

promise for ministry; and

vocational clarity and commitment.

Procedure for Admission

  1. Request application materials from the Office of Graduate Admissions.
  2. Submit a completed Application for Admission with a non-refundable application fee to Office of Graduate Admissions, Campus Box 7308, Gardner-Webb University, Boiling Springs, NC 28017. Applications for any Fall term may be submitted by August 1. Applications for any Spring term may be submitted by January 1.
  3. Request that official transcripts of all previous baccalaureate and any graduate-level work be sent directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
  4. Submit three recommendations from persons who know the applicant well. These recommendations should be submitted on the reference forms provided by the School of Divinity. Acceptable recommendations are as follows: an academic reference, a ministerial reference, and a personal reference.
  5. Submit a completed Church Approval Form. The form must come from the church where the applicant is a member in good standing.
  6. Submit a completed Immunization History Form.
  7. Provide proof of satisfactory criminal background record check for all states of residence for the past five (5) years with a residence verification statement.
  8. Students for whom English is a second language must take the TOEFL examination. The minimum acceptable score is 550 on the paper-based test.

Applicants will be considered for admission when the above-mentioned conditions have been met. All applicants are strongly urged to come for a visit and interview prior to final admission. Arrangements can be made through the office of the Director of Admissions for the School of Divinity.

Acceptance of Admission

Acceptance into the School of Divinity is good for one academic year. If an applicant wishes to enroll after one year, the student may be asked to resubmit part or all of the application. Because of the confidential nature of some items of information required for admission, the University reserves the right to reject any application without stating a reason.

Types of Admission

Full Admission

To be considered for Full Admission, an applicant must complete the requirements as outlined under the “Procedure for Admission” section. Final decisions regarding admission will be made by the Admissions Committee. The applicant’s file should be completed a minimum of 30 days prior to registration.

Provisional Admission

In some cases as determined on an individual basis, Provisional Admission may be granted:

when the baccalaureate degree has not yet been granted but the applicant is within six hours of completion;

when the student does not come from a regionally accredited college or university; or

when the process for Full Admission has not been completed prior to the beginning of the term, but information sufficient to support the applicant’s request for admission has been received.

Probationary Admission

If an applicant is deemed marginal based on the criteria for admission, a student may be admitted under probationary status. The Admissions Committee may require one or all of the following conditions for a student admitted under probation:

The student may be asked to interview with the Admissions Committee;

Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5 in the first semester of coursework;

Restrict the number of hours taken during the first semester;

Take required remedial coursework; and/or

Take the Graduate Record Examination or the Miller Analogies Test to determine their readiness for study.

At the end of the first semester of enrollment, the Admissions Committee will review the status of all students granted Provisional or Probationary Admission and will (1) grant Full Admission to the degree program, (2) maintain the student in Provisional or Probationary status for one additional semester, or (3) terminate student status.


Individuals who wish to take courses for credit but who do not choose to pursue a degree may apply for Non-Degree Status.

Applicants for Non-Degree Status

Non-Degree status may be granted for only one semester. Individuals accepted as Non-Degree students must pay full tuition. Both grades and credit will be recorded on the student’s transcript.

Students seeking “Non-Degree Status” must:

  1. complete an application form and submit it with the application fee;
  2. submit an official transcript of the last degree earned; and
  3. submit an Immunization History form if taking four or more hours.

Applicants for Transient Status

Students enrolled in other recognized graduate institutions who wish to take courses for transfer of credit to their home institutions may apply for Transient Status. Applicants for Transient Status must:

  1. submit an application for admission;
  2. pay the application fee; and
  3. submit a letter from the dean or director of the program in which the applicant is regularly enrolled indicating good standing.

Applicants for Other Status

Students enrolled in Gardner-Webb University’s undergraduate program or another graduate program may apply for Other Status. Students applying for Other Status must:

  1. secure written approval from their academic advisor;
  2. secure written approval from the Dean or the Associate Dean of the School of Divinity; and
  3. return written approvals to their academic advisor and complete the registration process specific to the program in which they are enrolled.

Applicants to Audit

Individuals who wish to audit classes in the School of Divinity must:

  1. contact the Director of Admissions;
  2. complete the Application for Admission to Audit;
  3. pay a per-course fee; and
  4. meet requirements for auditors established by the instructor of the course.

Permission to audit classes is subject to space availability.

Readmission of Former Students

Students who are not in attendance for one or more semesters or who withdraw during a semester for any reason must submit an application for readmission. No application fee is required. An exception will be made for students enrolled in dual-degree programs (MDiv/MBA, MDiv/MA) in which they are working on the non-MDiv portion of the degree.

Those seeking readmission after having not attended for as long as one calendar year will be required to follow degree requirements currently in effect.

The Admissions Committee is responsible for reviewing, evaluating, and acting on all applications for admission to degree programs offered by the School of Divinity. The committee is comprised of the Director of Admissions, one of the School of Divinity deans, and a faculty member.

International Students

International students holding baccalaureate degrees from regionally accredited colleges or universities within the United States will follow the procedure for admission under the “Requirements for Full Admission” section.

International students holding degrees from institutions outside the United States will follow the usual procedure for admission with these additions:

  1. Applicants must submit their transcripts to the World Evaluation Service (P.O. Box 745, Old Chelsea Station, New York, NY 10113-0745) for evaluation before they mail them to the School of Divinity.
  2. The U.S. Department of Justice form, “Affidavit of Support,” must be completed, signed, and accompanied by a letter from the student’s or sponsor’s bank indicating sufficient funds to support one year of graduate study. A copy of this form is available from the School of Divinity.
  3. Once the applicant’s file is completed and an admission decision has been made, an I-20 Form will be sent, enabling the student to apply for a Visa.